The Unnamed Footage Festival, a weekend of found footage horror, first person cinema, and faux documentary, is coming to the historic Balboa Theater in San Francisco March 24th to 25th, 2018. A collaboration between Philadelphia’s Unnamed Film Festival and the Bay Area-based organization, The Overlook Theatre, The Unnamed Footage Festival will include in-competition new selections from around the world and a series of revival screenings. The two-day event will feature in-person talks and Q&As with filmmakers who contribute to this niche subgenre, as well limited edition art and collectibles for badge holders.
The Balboa Theater resides in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond District and has been an operating movie house since 1926, splitting its single screen in two in the late 70’s. Rumors of paranormal activity at the classic cinema, which is built over a former cemetery, have been circulated by staff and patrons for years, making it the perfect location for UFF.
The slate of films will consist of narratives shot in the first person, and show the exciting diversity within the medium that has gone uncelebrated until now. While THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY defined the genre, many others went under the radar. UFF will offer audiences the chance to revisit older titles and discover new ones, while exploring comedy, science fiction, and drama, with an emphasis on the genre most often linked to found footage — horror movies.
“There’s nothing scarier than watching a found footage horror film in a creepy old theater ” says an Unnamed Representative, speaking through a phone with a voice modulator. “But the idea behind UFF isn’t just to scare the audience, we want to dissect the way these are made. We want to talk about how the forced perspective is used to manipulate the viewer, and the creativity in the use of different cameras.”
UFF is currently looking for films made by anyone, anytime — there are no limits regarding completion date or release status. Due to the nature of this genre, sometimes films take years to complete and slip through the cracks, and UFF’s goal is to hunt down and revive these movies and give new films the chance to screen theatrically.
Submissions are being accepted through February 15th, with a flat submission rate of $5 per short and $10 per feature. “Just go out and shoot something,” says the garbled voice of the Unnamed Representative. “A big part of this is to encourage filmmakers to play in this underappreciated storytelling format. There is so much room for exploration, and we want to see what strange and exciting things artists can do with it.”